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Residence Hall Room Models Sustainability 

Vicki Allen '06 and Anne Raymond '06 decided to go green with their residence hall room this year, and they don't mean the wallpaper. The two sophomores are the first residents in Dartmouth's environmentally sustainable residence hall room, which was dedicated Sept. 23 with speeches by President James Wright and other College administrators as well as a student involved with the project.

Vicki Allen '06 and Anne Raymond '06 are spreading the word that "green" is beautiful.
Vicki Allen '06 and Anne Raymond '06 are spreading the word that "green" is beautiful.

The new room, located in Lord Hall, showcases environmentally sustainable living practices, including many choices students can make to live in a more environmentally harmonious manner. These choices are as much evidenced by what the room does not contain as what it does. Allen and Raymond do not have an in-room refrigerator or a printer, for example, choosing to use the more environmentally friendly hall refrigerator and Green Print systems instead. They operate laptop computers instead of desktops, use a corded phone instead of a power-hungry portable phone with charger, and employ lamps and focused light whenever possible rather than high-energy full-room bulbs. They also use long-lasting and low-wattage compact fluorescent lights, and employ a drying rack for their clothes instead of using the electric dryers in the basement.

"The room [is] a place to try doing everything right, proving that it can be done without a lot of extra effort," says Raymond.

Raymond and Allen open their room periodically to their peers and the public to highlight the technologies and techniques they're utilizing to make their room as environmentally sustainable as possible.

"Showing the Dartmouth community the potential for improvement will be a great way to encourage that first step towards helping the environment in any way they can," says Allen.

At the room's dedication, President Wright noted, "The opening of this room, located at the heart of the student community, with its Energy Star products, is a wonderfully imaginative tool for teaching our environmental responsibilities. As an institution, we have strived to institutionalize policies and practices that support a responsible, sustainable, and respectful use of resources."

Joining Wright at the September dedication were James Larimore, dean of the College; Berry Scherr, provost; John Gratiot, associate vice president for facilities operation and management; and Brent Reidy '05, coordinator of Dartmouth's Environmental Conservation Organization, one of the groups that oversaw the project.

"I hope that every student will contemplate their actions and be conscious of the environmental implications of each and every decision they make," said Reidy. "This model residence hall room can serve as an example of small changes we can all make to our lifestyles that add up to make a difference."

Reidy credited Freya Sachs '04, Sylvia Chi '05, and Catherine Roberts '05, who are interns for Dartmouth's Resource Working Group, as being integral to the project's completion.

The Resource Working Group, the Office of Residential Life, and the Environmental Conservation Organization all co-sponsored the project.

- By James Donnelly

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Last Updated: 5/30/08